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Indonesia's economic growth seen dipping below 5% in Q1

[JAKARTA] Indonesia's economic growth likely weakened slightly to below 5 per cent in January-March as domestic and export demand softened and global commodity prices tumbled, a Reuters poll showed.

Southeast Asia's largest economy expanded by 4.95 per cent in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to the median forecast of 18 analysts surveyed.

That compares with 5.01 per cent growth in the fourth quarter of 2014, but would still be stronger than the third quarter, which was the weakest since 2009.

The government and the central bank have both forecast the economy would grow by 5 per cent in the first three months of this year.

On a quarterly basis, GDP probably expanded 0.04 per cent.

Analysts see growth rebounding in coming quarters. The median estimate for full-year economic growth is 5.3 per cent, below the government's 5.7 per cent target.

President Joko Widodo, who took office in October last year, pledged to boost GDP growth to 7 per cent on average during his term which ends in 2019. But analysts had expressed scepticism about that target even before commodity prices fell, noting the country's notoriously slow bureaucracy, supply bottlenecks and limited transportation as major challenges.